The Minnesota Vikings franchise began in 1961 and has made its presence known with a league championship in 1969 (before the NFL-AFL merger). The Vikes have also appeared in four Super Bowl in the team’s first 16 years. In fact, the Vikings boast one of the highest winning percentages in the entire NFL since their inception.
Minnesota Vikings Fan Guide
In the early years, the Vikings played outside on the oft-frozen field of Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, now home to the Mall of America. The team was a tough, gritty group led by its defense and mirroring the stoic strength of its head coach Bud Grant. Joe Kapp provided the rallying cry for the team with his “40 for 60,” referring to the team’s 40 players giving their all for 60 minutes.
The Purple People Eaters
The Vikings became known for their defense – the Purple People Eaters. Hall of Famers Allen Page and Carl Eller along with Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen made up the suffocating D-line. Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton introduced a new style of play to the NFL: the scrambling QB. Together, they consistently made the playoffs each year and dominated the NFC for decades.
The Vikings played for 32 years at the so-hideous-its-lovable Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Opposing teams hated the rock-hard turf and the piped-in crowd noise (an unfounded rumor). The home team found the artificial environment just right for a fast-paced, gun-slinging offense featuring Randy Moss. However, four NFC Championship losses during this period brought heartache to fans and gave rise to talk of a Vikings curse.
US Bank Stadium
Today the team plays in the world-class US Bank Stadium, built on the same location as the old Metrodome. The new facility allows light in through its glass ceiling. Large doors can be left open on pleasant fall game days. The new stadium has energized the team and its fan base. Tailgating has returned as a tradition to game day. Expectations are high once again for the team and its potential as one of the best teams in the NFC.
Despite an incredibly rich history in hockey, the Twin Cities are still ultimately a football town. Watching the Vikes on Sunday – either at the stadium or on TV – is still the biggest tradition, but here are a few more.
Blowing of the Gjallarhorn
The sounding of the Gjallarhorn announces the arrival of the gods, according to Norse legend. Each home game, a former player, or local celebrity gets the honor of blowing the horn to start the game.
Viking World Order
Members of VWO are diehard Viking fans. They have sworn allegiance to their favorite team and bleed purple. You’ll know them by their Viking attire, body paint, and passionate fandom.
Tailgating at the old Met Stadium
Metropolitan Stadium was built in the farm fields of Bloomington, Minnesota—far enough from downtown Minneapolis to provide plenty of room for parking, partying and tailgating before games. The game-day experience started Sunday mornings with a grill, a cooler of cold beer, and throwing a football around with your buddies in the parking lot. Today, the tradition lives on at the new US Bank Stadium.
Talking about the “Miracle in Minneapolis”
The Vikings cheer you need to know
The Skol Vikings Fight Song – The Skol Chant began when the Vikings moved into their new home, US Bank Stadium. Fans raise their hands and clap once after a drum beats, chanting “Skol!” The chant is repeated several times, increasing the pace each time and building momentum and drama until the play is resumed.
“Skol” is the Norwegian/Swedish word for cheers or good health. Made popular by the Iceland soccer team in the 2014 World Cup, it can make for an intimidating chant if done properly with enough people.